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Student goal-setting must be done during workday

Following a stipulation brokered by the state labor board, the Department of Education has reminded principals that teachers do not have to work on student goal-setting outside the school day.

“Schools may develop structures to implement goal-setting, but they must do so in a way that reasonably allows goal-setting to be completed during the workday,” says the notice, which was published in the June 6 issue of the Principal’s Weekly.

The notice also says that learning goals “do not have to be written down; however, when asked, teachers should be able to articulate their goals for students, and the ways they will know if their students are on a path to meeting them.”

The notice came as a relief to teachers in some schools, who had been asked to write up individual education goals for every single student and track in writing student progress toward those goals. The UFT filed an improper practice charge at the Public Employment Relations Board challenging that practice. The UFT and the Department of Education agreed to a stipulation of settlement on May 2.

“Teachers have always set educational goals for their students, but the principals’ approach in certain schools resulted in excessive paperwork that took time away from instruction,” said UFT Vice President Catalina Fortino. “The irony was that teachers had less time to actually work with students toward achieving learning goals.”

The stipulation provided a new right for members.

“Now members will be able to file grievances about workload on goal-setting for the first time ever,” Fortino noted.

UFT Grievance Director Ellen Procida advised members to speak to their chapter leader or district representative if there is a problem in their school.

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